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The Cyberiam - Connected CD (album) cover

CONNECTED

The Cyberiam

 

Heavy Prog

4.02 | 7 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Steve Conrad
4 stars Excellence, With Caveats

THE CYBERIAM Has the Goods

Punchy, hard-driving bass guitar. Supple, sensitive drumming. Nimble, varied guitar work and by the way I do love the acoustic guitar passages. Keyboard sounds to delight the keyboard loving listeners, and I am surely one of those. Vocals that are clean, high, expressive, and at perhaps too few times, expertly utilize harmonies. Songs that employ melody, show compositional flair, move seamlessly between themes and transitions and bring it all back into focus.

Connected

So on this the second long-playing studio release from Chicago, USA-based THE CYBERIAM, it seems like we get a heavy progressive rock lover's dream- the skilled musicianship, the compositional chops, the concept (which in these pandemic times is more keenly focused than ever), and some extended pieces to satisfy our urge to progress/to grow/to learn/to experience musical richness.

Yet, Caveats

My hesitation about full-voiced acclaim is two-fold: One, I thought perhaps twenty percent or more of total run-time could be trimmed. Seventy-two minutes-plus is fine, is not excessive (to those of us fanatics anyhow), is not unprecedented.

Yet I found myself saying at certain places, 'get to the point', or 'this drum solo passage would be great live, but is it necessary here?', or 'yes, we have that riff established, does it need more development or might we better just cut to the chase?'

And two, I recognize I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but those lyrics were pretty tough to make sense of- which seemed especially ironic in light of the important theme of 'connectedness', between, among, within us all and with all.

Who is the narrator? Who's the interrogator? What the heck is going on here?

Still, the Music

So many things to like. Heavy progressive music is a favorite of mine because I like drama, punch, flair, power, guts, massive build-ups and delicate transitions, variety, passion.

THE CYBERIAM delivers this in spades. From the opening eerie keyboards of "Interrogation Room B", to the closing fade-out of heavy band and harmony voices in "Bigger Questions", there are demonstrations of this kind of greatness. I'd have like to hear more of those lovely harmonies, since I think the vocals are a strength, and usually it seemed to me that the back-up voices were mixed a little too low.

I'd also have liked to hear more of the lead guitar, although there certainly were a few passages where guitar simply flew and soared.

But Mostly

Mostly, the music was pretty wonderful, and I think many of us progressive rock fanatics will strongly enjoy this album. It's polished, dramatic, intelligent, and fine.

In Conclusion

Excellence, with caveats, means to me this is four stars- "Excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection."

Steve Conrad | 4/5 |

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